Immigration

Family Immigration To Canada

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Family Immigration To Canada

Many foreigners love to immigrate to Canada as the country is a lovely place to live. One of the easiest way to immigrate to Canada is via family Immigration.

The Act and Regulations distinguish between three broad categories of foreign nationals.

These categories are

  • family class,
  • economic class, and
  • refugees or persons in refugee-like situations.

The Act or Regulations define members of the family class, Convention refugees abroad class, country of asylum class and source country class.

The Regulations also define the economic class, which consists of

the federal skilled worker class,

Quebec skilled worker class,

provincial nominee class,

investor class,

entrepreneur class and

self-employed persons class.

If you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, you can sponsor your spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, dependent child (including adopted child) or other eligible relative (such as a parent or grandparent) to become a permanent resident.

CIC refers to the immigrants who are eligible to use this family sponsoring process as the Family Class.

Sponsoring your family

Sponsoring a spouse, partner or dependent child

You can sponsor a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, or dependent children if you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada. To be a sponsor, you must be 18 years of age or older.

You can apply as a sponsor if your spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, or accompanying dependent children live with you in Canada, even if they do not have legal status in Canada. However, all the other requirements must be met.

You can also apply as a sponsor if your spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, or dependent children live outside Canada, and if they meet all the requirements.

When you sponsor a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, or dependent children to become permanent residents of Canada, you must promise to support them financially. Therefore, you have to meet certain income requirements.

If you have previously sponsored relatives to come to Canada and they have later turned to the government for financial assistance, you may not be allowed to sponsor another person. Sponsorship is a big commitment, so you must take this obligation seriously.

Sponsorship eligibility

In order to sponsor, you must…

be 18 years of age or older,

be a Canadian citizen, Registered Indian or permanent resident,

be sponsoring a member of the family Class,

live in Canada or provide evidence , if you are a Canadian citizen living outside of Canada, that you will live exclusively in Canada once the person you are sponsoring becomes a permanent resident.

sign an agreement with your spouse or common-law partner confirming that each of you understands your obligations and responsibilities,

sign an undertaking promising to provide for your spouse or common-law partner’s basic requirements and, if applicable, those of his or her dependent children, prove that you have sufficient income to provide basic requirements for your spouse or common-law partner’s dependent children. To do this, you must provide documents showing your financial resources for the past 12 months. This requirement applies only when dependent children who have dependent children of their own are included on the application.

You may NOT sponsor if you…

signed an undertaking for a previous spouse or common-law partner and three years have not elapsed since he or she became a permanent resident and,

receive social assistance for a reason other than disability,

are in default of an undertaking, an immigration loan, a performance bond, or family support payments, For more information. See Defaults below.

are an undischarged bankrupt,

were convicted of an offence of a sexual nature, a violent criminal offence, an offence against a relative that results in bodily harm or an attempt or threat to commit any such offences—depending on circumstances such as the nature of the offence, how long ago it occurred and whether a pardon

were previously sponsored as a spouse , common-law or conjugal partner and became a permanent resident of Canada less than 5 years ago,

If you are under a removal order,

are detained in a penitentiary, jail, reformatory or prison,

have already applied to sponsor your current spouse or common-law partner and a decision on your application has not yet been made.

Other factors not included in this list might also make you ineligible to sponsor a relative.

If you live in Quebec, you must also meet Quebec’s immigration sponsorship requirements, after Citizenship and Immigration Canada approves you as a sponsor.

Spouse

You are a spouse if you are married to your sponsor and your marriage is legally valid.

If you were married in Canada:

You must have a marriage certificate issued by the province or territory where the marriage took place.

If you were married outside Canada:

The marriage must be valid under the law of the country where it took place and under Canadian law.

A marriage performed in an embassy or consulate must comply with the law of the country where it took place, not the country of nationality of the embassy or consulate.

Sponsoring your same-sex partner as a spouse

You can apply to sponsor your same-sex partner as a spouse if:

you are a Canadian citizen and permanent resident and

you were married in Canada and issued a marriage certificate by a Canadian province or territory on or after the following dates:

British Columbia (on or after July 8, 2003)

Manitoba (on or after September 16, 2004)

New Brunswick (on or after July 4, 2005)

Newfoundland and Labrador (on or after December 21, 2004)

Nova Scotia (on or after September 24, 2004)

Ontario (on or after June 10, 2003)

Quebec (on or after March 19, 2004)

Saskatchewan (on or after November 5, 2004)

Yukon (on or after July 14, 2004)

all other provinces or territories (on or after July 20, 2005).

If you were married outside Canada, you may apply to sponsor your same-sex partner as a spouse as long as the marriage is legally recognized according to both the law of the place where the marriage occurred and under Canadian law. This applies to same-sex marriages performed in the following jurisdictions:

  • Belgium
  • the Netherlands
  • Norway
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • the State of California (June 16, 2008 – November 5, 2008)
  • the State of Massachusetts
  • the State of New Hampshire
  • the State of Connecticut
  • the State of Iowa
  • the State of Vermont (effective September 1, 2009)
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Please note that the above list of jurisdictions is offered as a guide only, and is subject to change. It is your responsibility to provide CIC information about whether or not your same-sex-marriage was legally recognized when and where it occurred.

  • Common-law partner
  • You are a common-law partner—either of the opposite sex or same sex—if:

you have been living together in a conjugal relationship for at least one year in a continuous 12-month period that was not interrupted. (You are allowed short absences for business travel or family reasons, however.)

You will need proof that you and your common-law partner have combined your affairs and set up a household together. This can be in the form of:

  • joint bank accounts or credit cards
  • joint ownership of a home
  • joint residential leases
  • joint rental receipts
  • joint utilities (electricity, gas, telephone)
  • joint management of household expenses
  • proof of joint purchases, especially for household items or
  • mail addressed to either person or both people at the same address.

Conjugal partner

This category is for partners—either of the opposite sex or same sex—in exceptional circumstances beyond their control that prevent them from qualifying as common-law partners or spouses by living together.

A conjugal relationship is more than a physical relationship. It means you depend on each other, there is some permanence to the relationship and there is the same level of commitment as a marriage or a common-law relationship.

You may apply as a conjugal partner if:

you have maintained a conjugal relationship with your sponsor for at least one year and you have been prevented from living together or marrying because of:

an immigration barrier

your marital status (for example, you are married to someone else and living in a country where divorce is not possible) or

your sexual orientation (for example, you are in a same-sex relationship and same-sex marriage is not permitted where you live)

you can provide evidence there was a reason you could not live together (for example, you were refused long-term stays in each other’s country).

You should not apply as a conjugal partner if:

You could have lived together but chose not to. This shows that you did not have the level of commitment required for a conjugal relationship. (For example, one of you may not have wanted to give up a job or a course of study, or your relationship was not yet at the point where you were ready to live together.)

You cannot provide evidence there was a reason that kept you from living together.

You are engaged to be married. In this case, you should either apply as a spouse once the marriage has taken place or apply as a common-law partner if you have lived together continuously for at least 12 months.

If I live outside Canada, may I sponsor?

If you are a Canadian citizen, you may sponsor a spouse, a common-law partner or conjugal partner, or a dependent child who has no children of his or her own. However, you must demonstrate that you will live in Canada when the sponsored person becomes a permanent resident.

Note: Permanent residents residing abroad may not sponsor from outside of Canada. Canadian citizens travelling as tourists are not considered to be residing abroad.

Sponsor not residing in Canada

(2) A sponsor who is a Canadian citizen and does not reside in Canada may sponsor a foreign national who makes an application referred to in subsection (1) and is the sponsor’s spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner or dependent child who has no dependent children, if the sponsor will reside in Canada when the foreign national becomes a permanent resident.

Operational Bulletin 386 – March 2, 2012

Five-year Sponsorship Bar for persons who were sponsored to come to Canada as a spouse or partner

Implications

The amendment, which came into force on March 2, 2012 upon registration, bars a previously-sponsored spouse or partner from sponsoring a new spouse or partner within five years of becoming a PR even if the sponsor acquired citizenship during that period. Other members of the family class will not be affected by the regulatory changes.

Scenarios for previously

sponsored spouses/partners:

Date of Sponsorship Application        Eligibility to sponsor

Sponsorship application received prior to regulatory amendment coming into force            Not subject to the 5-year sponsorship bar regardless of date sponsor became a PR

Sponsorship application received on or following the day the regulatory amendment came into force       Subject to the 5-year sponsorship bar

Relationships that are not eligible

You cannot be sponsored as a spouse, a common-law partner or a conjugal partner if:

you are under 16 years of age

you (or your sponsor) were married to someone else at the time of your marriage

you have lived apart from your sponsor for at least one year and either you (or your sponsor) are the common-law or conjugal partner of another person

your sponsor immigrated to Canada and, at the time they applied for permanent residence, you were a family member who should have been examined to see if you met immigration requirements, but you were not examined or

your sponsor previously sponsored another spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner, and three years have not passed since that person became a permanent resident.

Dependent children

A son or daughter is dependent when the child:

is under the age of 22 and does not have a spouse or common-law partner;

is over the age of 22 and has been continuously enrolled as a full-time student and depended substantially on the financial support of a parent since before the age of 22;

became a spouse or a common-law partner before the age of 22 and has been continuously enrolled as a full-time student and depended substantially on the financial support of a parent since becoming a spouse or common-law partner, or

is over the age of 22 and depended substantially on the financial support of a parent since before the age of 22 because of a physical or mental condition.

Your child or a child of your spouse or common-law partner will be considered a dependent child if that child

  • is under the age of 22 and not married or in a common-law relationship; or
  • married or entered into a common-law relationship before the age 22 and, since becoming a spouse or a common-law partner, has
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been continuously enrolled and in attendance as full-time students in a post secondary institution accredited by the relevant government authority and

depended substantially on the financial support of a parent; or

is 22 years of age or older and, since before the age of 22, has

been continuously enrolled and in attendance as full-time students in a post secondary institution accredited by the relevant government authority and

depended substantially on the financial support of a parent; or

  1. is 22 years of age or older, has depended substantially on the financial support of a parent since before the age of 22 and is unable to provide for him/herself due to a medical condition.

Dependent children must meet the above requirements both on the day the Case Processing Centre in Mississauga (CPC-M), Ontario, receives a complete sponsorship application and, without taking into account whether they have attained 22 years of age, on the day a visa is issued to them.

Adopted children and orphaned relatives

A permanent resident visa cannot be issued to a child as a member of the family class if that child is the adopted child of the sponsor or an orphaned brother, sister, nephew or niece of the sponsor as described earlier in this guide unless the adoptive parents/the sponsor demonstrate they have obtained information concerning the medical condition of the child. In doing so, the government ensures that the child’s best interests are protected.

If you are a child who was adopted by the sponsor, whom the sponsor intends to adopt in Canada, or who is the sponsor’s orphaned brother, sister, nephew or niece, the sponsor must complete and submit a Medical Condition Statement if he or she has not already done so with his or her sponsorship application.

Eligible relatives

Your relative may be able to come to Canada as a permanent resident.

If you are a citizen or permanent resident of Canada, you can sponsor your relative under the Family Class program.

Eligible relatives—Who can apply

Certain relatives may be eligible to immigrate to Canada as permanent residents.

There must be a sponsor for any relative immigrating to Canada within the Family Class. Both the person sponsoring a relative and the person wishing to immigrate to Canada must meet certain requirements.

Applicants for permanent residence must go through medical, criminal and background checks. An applicant with a criminal record may not be allowed to enter Canada. People who pose a risk to Canada’s security are also not allowed to enter Canada. An applicant may have to provide a certificate from police authorities in the home country. Medical, criminal and background checks are explained in the application kit.

Sponsoring an eligible relative

You can sponsor certain relatives if you are a citizen or permanent resident of Canada and if you are 18 years of age or older.

You may not be eligible to sponsor a relative if you:

failed to provide the financial support you agreed to when you signed a sponsorship agreement to sponsor other relative in the past

defaulted on a court-ordered support order, such as alimony or child support

received government financial assistance for reasons other than a disability

were convicted of a violent criminal offence, any offence against a relative or any sexual offence—depending on circumstances, such as the nature of the offence, how long ago it occurred and whether a pardon was issued

defaulted on an immigration loan—late or missed payments

are in prison or

have declared bankruptcy and have not been released from it yet.

Other factors not mentioned in this list might also make you ineligible to sponsor a relative.

When you sponsor a relative to become a permanent resident of Canada, you must promise to support that person and their dependents financially. Therefore, you have to meet certain income requirements. If you have previously sponsored relatives who later turned to the Canadian government for financial assistance, you may not be allowed to sponsor another person. Sponsorship is a big commitment, so you must take this obligation seriously.

To be a sponsor:

You and the sponsored relative must sign a sponsorship agreement that commits you to provide financial support for your relative if necessary. This agreement also states that the person becoming a permanent resident will make every effort to support themselves. Dependent children under age 22 do not have to sign this agreement. Quebec residents must sign an “undertaking” with the province of Quebec—a contract binding the sponsorship.

You must promise to provide financial support for the relative and any other eligible relatives accompanying them for a period of three to ten years, depending on their age and relationship to you. This time period begins on the date they become a permanent resident.

If you live in Quebec, you must also meet Quebec’s immigration sponsorship requirements after Citizenship and Immigration Canada approves you as a sponsor.

If you are a Canadian citizen who lives abroad and plans to return to Canada when your relatives immigrate, you may sponsor your spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, or your dependent children who have no dependent children.

To sponsor any other eligible relatives (for example, parents and grandparents), you must be living in Canada.

Who can be sponsored

You can sponsor:

  • parents
  • grandparents
  • brothers or sisters, nephews or nieces, granddaughters or grandsons who are orphaned, under 18 years of age and not married or in a common-law relationship
  • another relative of any age or relationship but only under specific conditions (see Note below)
  • accompanying relatives of the above (for example, spouse, partner and dependent children).

Note: you can sponsor one relative regardless of age or relationship only if you do not have a living spouse or common-law partner, conjugal partner, a son or daughter, parent, grandparent, sibling, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece who could be sponsored as a member of the family class, and you do not have any relative who is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident or registered as an Indian under the Indian Act.

De facto family members

De facto family members are persons who do not meet the definition of a family class  member.

They are, however, in a situation of dependence that makes them a de facto member of a nuclear family in Canada. Examples include, but are not limited to:

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a son, daughter, brother or sister without family of their own;

an elderly relative such as an aunt or uncle or an unrelated person who has resided with the family for a long time.

Who cannot be sponsored

Other relatives, such as brothers and sisters over 18, or adult independent children cannot be sponsored. However, if they apply to immigrate under the Skilled Worker Class, they may get extra points for adaptability for having a relative in Canada.

How to apply for sponsorship

  • Obtain an application package .
  • Read the guide.
  • Complete the application form and attach the necessary documents.
  • Pay the fee and get the necessary receipt.
  • Mail the application form and documents.

Pay the fee and get the necessary receipt.

Depending on who you are sponsoring, the fees are:

  • $75 for the sponsorship application
  • $475 for the principal applicant
  • $150 for a dependent child of the principal applicant, under age 22 and not married or in a common-law relationship
  • $550 for a dependant of the principal applicant who is 22 or older, or who is under 22 and married or in a common-law relationship and
  • $490 for the right of permanent residence fee, which is required before the status is granted. (Note: If you do not include the $490 fee when you submit your sponsorship application, you will be asked to provide it just before your relative’s visa is issued. This fee is the only fee that you do not need to include when you send in your sponsorship application.)

You can pay fees at most banks. If you use this method, you must get an original receipt of payment (form IMM 5401) to bring with you when you pay. This form is not available online. You must have it mailed to you. See Order a receipt of payment (IMM 5401) online through Pay my application fees in the I Need To… Once you have paid your fees online, you must print a receipt of payment form and include it with your application. Be sure to print the actual receipt, not the “payment confirmation form” page. See Payment of fees on the Internet for more information.

If you live outside Canada, but submitted your application in Canada, online payment is recommended.

If you cannot pay online, you may pay fees with an international money order or a bank draft made payable to the Receiver General for Canada. It must be in Canadian funds.

To ensure the bank draft or money order can be cashed at a Canadian financial institution (such as a bank or Western Union) you must include some information. On the front, you must clearly write the financial institution’s

name and complete address (not a post office box number) and

account number(s).

It is very important to include this information. If you do not, your application may be delayed or returned to you.

  1. Mail the application form and documents.

The mailing address will be in the sponsorship application form.

You can find information on how long it will take to process your application in the I Need To… section on the right-hand side of the CIC website.

In-Canada Spousal Sponsorship applications should be mailed to:

Case Processing Centre

Permanent Residence Applications

6212-55th Avenue

Vegreville, Alberta

T9C 1W3

other family sponsorship applications should be mailed to:

Sponsorship 🙁 Type of sponsorship*)

Case Processing Centre ─ Mississauga

P.O. Box 3000, Station A

Mississauga, Ontario

L5A 4N6

All family members, accompanying or not, are required to be examined unless a properly delegated officer decides otherwise.

Family members can be added to the application at any time during the process, including after the visa is issued but prior to obtaining permanent resident status. Applicants should be counselled to inform the visa office immediately if their family composition has changed.

To include adopted children, spouses, or common-law partners as accompanying family members, R4 requires that the relationship must be genuine or not one entered into primarily for immigration purposes.

If family members are added to the application during processing, they must be screened for inadmissibility before any permanent resident visa is issued.

Normally, any inadmissible family member would render the principal applicant (in any class) inadmissible as well [A42; R23].

There are, however, two exceptions to this rule.

The first is the separated spouse of the applicant.

The second is when the applicant or an accompanying family member does not have legal custody of their dependent child or when they are not empowered to act on behalf of that child, by virtue of a court order or written agreement or by operation of law.

If an applicant‘s separated spouse or the applicant‘s children who are in the custody of someone else are inadmissible, their inadmissibility would not render the applicant inadmissible.

Because separated spouses can reconcile and custody arrangements for children can change, examination is required in order to safeguard the future right to sponsor them in the family class. If these family members are not examined, they cannot be sponsored in the Family Class in the future under R117(9)(d).

In-Canada Spousal Sponsorship:

Working and studying

As a general practice, we will advise applicants in writing when they are eligible to apply for a work or study permit.

However, if an applicant already holds a work or study permit and wants to maintain his or her temporary resident status, the applicant may apply to extend his or her status before receiving our letter. Regardless of whether the application is submitted before or after receiving our letter, refer to the guides for Applying to Change Conditions or Extend Your Stay in Canada. These guides may be obtained by visiting our website or by contacting the Call Centre.

If the applicant already has a permit, he or she may continue to work or study as long as the permit is valid.It is illegal to work or study without authorization from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Conclusion

We hope this article is of help, and has been able to shed light, on family Immigration to Canada.

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